Can I add plants to my run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HazensHens, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. HazensHens

    HazensHens New Egg

    Sep 17, 2012
    What plants can I add that are not only safe but wont be eaten in a matter of hours by my girls? I'd love to add some small areas of shade, color, foliage without it being consumed! Any suggestions?
  2. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
    sure! I love this book too..... Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard
    Maintaining Chook Health - Naturally

    Think about planting herbs and flowers next to your chicken run that the chickens can selectively eat to keep themselves healthy. A great idea is to plant them on the other (chook-free) side of the chook-run fence so they grow through and can be pecked out without being totally decimated. Some recommended plants are:
    Comfrey – Wonderful herb for your organic garden. Perennial, large green leaves, grows in sun or partial shade, plant from a root cutting. Chop up and feed to chooks regularly. It is also a compost activator (see VEG compost worksheet). Comfrey has a vigorous root system, so grow it away from your veggie patch.
    Nasturtium – Great for your chooks general health and it repels insect pests.
    Nettles – Helps increase egg production and is fattening for your chickens – a great winter food. Nettle is also a compost activator.
    Rue – Good chook medicine and insect repellent. Dry and scatter through chook house to repel pests. Wear gloves when handling this herb as it can cause some skin irritation.
    Southernwood and Wormwood – Insect repellents and medicinal. Grow wormwood away from other plants as its roots inhibit growth. Good to dry and scatter through chook house.
    Tansy – Attractive fern-like leaves with yellow flowers. Tansy is a vigorous grower that repels pest insects. Dry and scatter leaves through chookhouse. Tansy is also a compost activator.
    Rosemary – Insect repellent. Chop and scatter in chookhouse.

    TOXIC PLANTS is extensive and includes:
    azalea, bleeding heart, boxwood, bulb flowers (including iris, daffodil, hyacinth, amaryllis), castor bean, clematis, elderberry, English ivy, eucalyptus, foxglove, hemlock, holly, honeysuckle, hydrangea, jasmine, lupine, mistletoe, morning glory, mountain laurel, nightshade, oak, oleander, poke weed, rhodedendron, skunk cabbage, wisteria, yew
    (this list is by no means exhaustive, but just some of the more common bushes and shrubs
  3. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We have Star Jasmine in the back yard. It is a lovely trailing vine with fragrant flowers which the chickens love to scratch around underneath. It also provides great cover for them. They've never attempted to eat it. -pay the foliage and flowers no attention, but do love the moths that are all about it. -also have Carolina Jessamine trailing onto the run. It makes a nice cover, and again, the chickens don't eat/pick at it at all. We pot mint, sweet basil, and oregano around the run as well. -very fragrant and the chickens won't touch it. Knockout roses are also great near the run. -fragrant and good cover and unscathed by the birds. I suppose it depends upon your climate/plant hardiness zone as to what you might choose. (We planted Calendula and Impatiens. The Calendula was immediately consumed, and the Impatiens have been trampled/scratched......)
  4. BGinVA

    BGinVA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow had no idea honey suckle was toxic, might need to go do some pruning at the tree line next spring, thanks for posting.
  5. HazensHens

    HazensHens New Egg

    Sep 17, 2012
    Thank you all! I'm hoping they do not eat everything I bring in..
  6. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    Good luck hope all goes well!!!
  7. dunsmuirgrace

    dunsmuirgrace New Egg

    Sep 30, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012

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